PechaKucha Night Recap with Robert Kent

By In Hye Lee, Social Media Coordinator Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 7.42.06 PMOn June 13, Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) was one of several world-changing organizations and individuals highlighted at PechaKucha Night Vancouver Vol. 28 - an evening focused on the ideas and people of Vancouver that have gone on to positively impact the world. Speaking at the event was CEF founder, Robert Kent.

To watch Robert's PechaKucha video presentation, click here.

We had the chance to catch up with Robert after the event to see what he thought of the experience.

CEF: How do you feel the night went?

Robert: I’d say that it went super well—a 10 out of 10! I’ve never done anything like this before, so I was nervous, but the feedback we are getting is positive. People really understood CEF. I feel more prepared now for future talks and I would love to do a TED Talk. Right now I’m just putting the idea out there, and later we can work behind-the-scenes to make it happen.

CEF: What did you think about the PechaKucha format? Did it help convey the idea behind CEF to the audience?

Robert: Yes, definitely! It’s so quick and to the point. There isn't room for too much information. I would compare it to an elevator pitch - the message needs to be very on point. The conciseness facilitated an environment that allowed us to interact with the other speakers, and find new volunteers in the audience as well as through word-of-mouth.

CEF: How did you feel about the theme, “Vancouver Around the World”?

Robert: I loved the theme and the opportunity of having 1,250 like-minded people in the room interested in global wellness! It truly was an ideal opportunity to share our CEF mission, vision, and purpose, which is obviously focused on global wellness. I loved it!

CEF: How did you make sure CEF stood out amongst the many organizations that were being presented?

Robert: I felt that our visual presentation stood out. Our goal was for a big, bold and simple presentation. One of the slides was of a video that rapidly showed CEF stock images, which resulted in a fast presentation, full of impact. I’d compare it to an Indiana Jones movie - the action started immediately, which was important in capturing the audience’s attention.

CEF: What was your favourite part of the event?

Robert: For me, having the crowd get excited about the Peggy Willett quote - “Your generosity will go far in supporting our mission” -  moved me. I loved hearing the clapping, cheering and excitement about our funding model and our explanation of how it allows our Board to focus on our mission rather than on grant-writing. The entire event was an amazing thing to be a part of, but those were aspects that really stood out for me.

CEF: Would you be interested in participating in this type of event again?

Robert: A huge yes! I love our story and I am so pleased to share it. In addition to dreaming of a TED Talk, I also love the idea of following in John Wood’s footsteps (John is the founder of Room to Read). Penguin Books is publishing his second book (with a ghostwriter) and John is now travelling the world doing keynote speaking events and book signings that raise thousands of dollars. I can see a CEF hardcover coffee table book full of our project photos and commercial images. I think we need a volunteer book designer! It is important to have mentors, but also to not have your path defined too narrowly. I would love to have coffee with Sharon Davis from Room to Read to devise a plan to get CEF more into the media spotlight and ultimately attract more donors. Sharon is full of ideas and is incredibly inspiring.

CEF: Thank you so much for sharing your experience with all of us!

Robert: You are so welcome. I am really stoked about some of these ideas for CEF. The speaker videos will be posted next week and I look forward to some feedback on how I can improve. I am open to some more coaching and training. I am so proud of us and our accomplishments and the communities we are building on both sides of the foundation.

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